REMARKS: Governor Strickland Calls on Mitt Romney to Follow His Father’s Lead, Release 12 Years of Tax Returns Before Ohio Primary

COLUMBUS – Today, Governor Ted Strickland held a press conference call to urge quarter-billionaire Mitt Romney, who has run perhaps the most transparent evasive presidential campaign in decades, to follow the example set by his father George Romney and release 12 years of tax returns before the Ohio primary on March 6. George Romney, who ran for President in 1968, was the first-ever presidential candidate to release his tax returns. He released 12 years of tax returns instead of just one because “one year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.” Talk about foresight.

Governor Strickland, the most transparent Ohio governor in recent memory, released four years of his tax returns when he ran for re-election in 2010 and released six years of tax returns when he first ran for governor in 2006.

Mitt Romney on the other hand, said yesterday that he’ll release just one year of tax returns – 2010 – and an “estimate” for 2011. Even after South Carolina voters sharply rebuked his refusal to release complete tax returns and inability to explain his investments in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands, Mitt Romney still won’t follow his father’s lead.

Governor Ted Strickland’s remarks follow:

“I am pleased to speak to you all today about a critical issue in the race for president. We saw this issue play out quite prominently in the South Carolina primary, and we don’t anticipate it will go away anytime soon.

“Let me first say that I am a believer in transparency. I have always thought that as a public official, I owed it to the people I served to be as open and transparent as possible. And as a candidate, I owed the same openness and transparency to the voters who I was asking to elect me.

“So when I first ran for Governor in 2006, I released several years of my tax returns. And when I ran for re-election, I released my tax returns for all of the years while I was Governor.

“Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a different approach when it comes to transparency.

“He has refused to release his tax returns for months, despite repeated calls for him to do so from not just Democrats, but from Republicans and even from some of his own supporters.

“My friends, it’s important to understand the larger context here. This isn’t just about tax returns.

“Mitt Romney has waged his candidacy on his experience in the private sector. But the truth is that he spent his time in the corporate world bankrupting companies, outsourcing jobs and laying off workers to line his own pockets. He put profits over people during his time as CEO of Bain Capital and as a result, he became a quarter-billionaire.

“And during his campaign for president, he has made clear that if elected, he would stand up for big corporations and the wealthiest among us. He has also put forward a tax plan that benefits the ultra-wealthy. And he would take us back to a time when Wall Street wrote its own rules.

“And for those of us who question his priorities and his record, Governor Romney says we are engaging in “the politics of envy” and attacking free enterprise.

“What Mitt Romney doesn’t understand is that economic inequality in our country is a real problem. And middle-class Ohioans won’t think it’s fair if they find out they have to pay a much higher tax rate than what Mitt Romney pays. And they won’t think it is fair if they find out Mitt Romney is gaming the tax system by hiding large portions of his profits in off-shore accounts like those in the Cayman Islands and other countries to avoid paying his fair share.

“I believe that Mitt Romney owes it to the voters of Ohio and the voters of our country to release his tax returns so these questions can be answered.

“Last week, Mitt was reminded that when his father, George Romney, ran for president in 1967, he released not one year’s worth of tax returns, but twelve years’ worth. Why twelve? Well, in the words of Mitt’s father at the time, quote, ‘One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.’ End quote.

“So Governor Romney was asked if he would follow his father’s lead and release 12 years of his tax returns.

“His response was awkward by not surprising. He said, and I quote: ‘maybe.’

“For the benefit of Ohio voters, that answer should have been ‘yes.’

“And now, after months of criticism from not just Democrats – but from his fellow Republicans – Governor Romney has said he will release merely one year of his tax returns this week along with an estimate of his coming 2011 returns.

“Well, we agree with Mitt’s father, who said that ‘one year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.’

“Indeed, one year of tax returns does not even begin to paint a picture of Mitt Romney’s time as a corporate buyout specialist.

“After all, if you looked at only the 2010 football season of Ohio State, you wouldn’t know how fine a football program our great university has.

“When Governor Romney made this half-hearted promise, we were reminded of how our current governor tried to put to rest questions about his tax returns. On Good Friday in 2010, Governor Kasich’s campaign rotated reporters in and out of a room on quick intervals to view only one year of his tax returns.

“Governor Romney must come from the John Kasich School of Transparency. He seems to be following Governor Kasich’s lead, releasing only one year of his tax returns on the day of the President’s State of the Union Address.

“Ohioans don’t need lip service from candidates asking to be president of the United States. They need honest answers.

“That’s why today I am calling on Governor Romney to follow his father’s lead and release a full 12 years of his tax returns so Ohioans know how he made his money, what investments he holds and what effective tax rate he pays.

“We have a Republican presidential primary coming up in Ohio on March 6. My assumption is that Mitt Romney will want Ohioans to support him. So, before Mitt Romney asks for the votes of Ohioans, he should come clean and release 12 years of his tax returns, just as his father did.”



George Romney Balked At Releasing Just A Single Year Of Tax Returns Because “One Year Could Be A Fluke, Perhaps Done For Show.” “George Harris, Look senior editor, said he had ‘badgered’ the governor for his latest income tax form but Romney had balked because ‘one year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show…’ ‘Stumped by this argument, I was not prepared for the move it eventually led him to make: He ordered up all the Form 1040’s that he and Mrs. Romney had filed over the last 12 years – including those profitable ones when he saved the American Motors Corporation from bankruptcy and became a millionaire on the company’s stock options.” [UPI in St. Joseph Gazette, 11/27/67]

MEMO: Primary Weakening Romney – A Deeper Look at the Ohio Quinnipiac Poll

FROM: Ohio Democratic Party
TO: Interested Parties
DATE: January 20, 2012
RE: Primary Weakening Romney – A Deeper Look at the Ohio Quinnipiac Poll

A lot has been said about the contentious Republican primary that has been unfolding over the last few months. While the candidates’ positions and statements have been anything but consistent (see: Mitt Romney), one thing is clear: as every Republican runs to the right to placate the Tea Party, they are steadily losing independents and moderate voters. With an evenly divided electorate in Ohio, all candidates – notably Mitt Romney – are losing support among those voters as they take a hard turn to the right, weakening their standing for the general election.

Look no further than the Quinnipiac poll that came out this week.

Romney’s push to the right on key issues has resulted in very modest gains among voters he needs to secure the nomination:

  • Ohio Republicans’ views on Romney have become slightly more favorable, with Romney gaining 2 points with these voters between November and January.
  • Evangelical voters that were previously undecided or skeptical about Romney’s candidacy appear to be coalescing around him.

Among the positions Mitt Romney has taken to appease the Tea Party are: supporting John Kasich’s anti-union bill, supporting a so-called “Personhood” amendment that would completely eliminate a woman’s right to choose, doubling down on his opposition to President Obama’s efforts to save Ohio’s auto industry, supporting efforts to end Medicare as we know it and putting forward a tax plan that helps the wealthiest Americans at the expense of middle-class families.

Romney’s hard push to the right on these and other issues looks problematic in a general election, a trend that is seen in polls across the country. In just the past two months, Romney’s favorability has dropped

  • 5 points with Ohio Independents,
  • 7 points with Ohio women, and
  • 11 points with Ohioans making less than $30,000 a year

The consensus? Mitt Romney may be in the lead in the Republican primary, but what he has promised to do as President and his desire to placate the Tea Party have made him a much weaker candidate in the general election – and notably in battleground Ohio.

IG Scandal: Ohio Democratic Party Requests Records of Inspector General Randall Meyer’s Participation in Clinton County GOP Fundraiser

So-called ‘government watchdog’ headlined, keynoted GOP Fundraiser

COLUMBUS – Today, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern issued a public records request to the office of Inspector General Randy Meyer regarding the brewing IG scandal that broke earlier this week. As originally reported by the Wilmington News Journal, Meyer, whose job is to be a non-partisan investigator of the executive branch, headlined and keynoted a Clinton County Republican Party fundraiser on January 9.

The public records request asks for all communications between the Inspector General’s office and the Clinton County Republican Party concerning the Century Club Dinner, the Inspector General’s travel schedule on January 9 and reimbursements for mileage, gas and travel he may have received on January 9.

A copy of the letter from Chairman Redfern to the Inspector General’s office follows:

January 19, 2012

Office of the Inspector General
Attn:  Jim Manken
30 East Broad Street – Suite 2940
Columbus, OH 43215-3414

Re: Public Records Request

Attention Mr. Manken:

This is a request pursuant to Ohio Revised Code § 149.43 for all records, including without limitation documents and communications whether stored electronically or in hard copy, relating to or concerning:

1.    Correspondence between the Inspector General and/or members of his office with the Clinton County Republican Party regarding the Century Club dinner on 1/9/12.
2.    The travel schedule of the Inspector General for 1/9/12.
3.    The Inspector General’s reimbursement for mileage/gas for travel on 1/9/12.

Please produce the requested records within a reasonable time.  We anticipate that these records will be easy for your office to produce, and request that you produce them on a rolling basis as you are able to copy or otherwise reproduce them.  We do not wish to wait until you have gathered all of the requested records before you produce them.  Please let me know when you anticipate producing records. 

If there is any information that will be excluded or any materials that will be redacted (other than Social Security numbers) pertaining to our request, we want to know those categories and under what privacy law or other provisions they are withheld or redacted.

Should any portion of this request be denied, in part or in whole, the law requires written justification for its denial, along with a citation of the appropriate Open Records Act exemption that applies for each record, or portion thereof, that is withheld or redacted.



Chris Redfern

Ohio Democratic Party Statement on Senator Rob Portman’s Endorsement of Mitt Romney

COLUMBUS – Ohio Democratic Party Communications Director Seth Bringman released the following statement on Senator Rob Portman’s endorsement of Mitt Romney:

“This endorsement comes as no surprise, seeing that Rob Portman has spent his entire career standing up for big corporations like Bain Capital, where Mitt Romney put profits over people by bankrupting companies, outsourcing jobs and laying off workers to line his own pockets. Both Rob Portman and Mitt Romney turned their backs on Ohio’s autoworkers when 1.4 million American jobs were on the line, they both would let Wall Street write its own rules and they both oppose asking ultra-wealthy Americans like themselves to pay their fair share as middle-class families are struggling. Ohioans don’t need someone as president who puts the needs of big corporations and the wealthiest among us ahead of the needs of the middle class.”

Will Romney Release His Tax Returns Before Ohio Primary, Or Will He Join Kasich In Hiding His Income From Voters?

Quarter-billionaire Romney’s refusal to release his returns is an affront to presidential transparency, Ohio tradition

Chairman Redfern calls on Romney to Fully Disclose Income Before Ohio’s March 6 Primary

COLUMBUS – During this week’s Republican presidential debate in South Carolina, Mitt Romney doubled down on his refusal to commit to releasing his tax returns like every other Republican presidential candidate has done. “Time will tell,” Romney ambiguously declared, adding, “I’ll keep that open.” It wasn’t his first refusal either – just a month earlier he told NBC News reporter Chuck Todd, “I don’t intend to release the tax returns. I don’t.” Really Mitt?

For decades, presidents from both political parties have made their tax returns public so that voters know where they obtain their income and what they pay back. During President Obama’s 2008 presidential run, he released eight years’ worth of tax returns, and he has already released his complete tax return for 2010. So why then, won’t Mitt Romney release his? What is he trying to hide?

Maybe it’s that, according to Romney himself, he pays only “closer to the 15 percent” tax rate. Why? Unlike the typical family, which pays a far higher tax rate, Romney’s income comes from – in Romney’s own words – “investments,” not “ordinary” income. Governor Romney became rich as a corporate buyout specialist at Bain Capital, putting profits over people and bankrupting companies, closing plants and outsourcing jobs so that he could line his own pockets.

And Romney’s commitment to secrecy and refusal to release his tax returns breaks more than just a presidential tradition of transparency – it breaks a long-held Ohio tradition, too. With the exception of Governor Kasich and Ken Blackwell, Ohio gubernatorial candidates from both parties have released their tax returns for decades.

“Mitt Romney doesn’t want middle-class Ohioans to see his tax returns because then they will know for sure that he pays a much lower tax rate than they do,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern. “If quarter-billionaire Mitt Romney is unfairly gaming the tax system in his favor, Ohioans have the right to know about it before our March primary. But even though leaders in both parties are pressuring Mitt Romney to follow a longtime precedent of presidential candidates in releasing his tax returns, we still haven’t gotten a straight answer from him.”

Redfern continued, “How much money did he make, what effective tax rate does he pay, and why is he withholding this information? It’s time for Mitt Romney to reject the failed Governor-Kasich-model of ‘transparency,’ come clean with hardworking Ohioans and hold himself to the same standard that his father and every Republican and Democratic presidential nominee have set for decades.”


Romney would join Governor John Kasich in breaking the Ohio tradition of releasing complete tax returns before key elections. As reported by the Columbus Dispatch, “Kasich is only the second candidate in the past seven gubernatorial campaigns to refuse to release his tax returns. In 2006, Republican J. Kenneth Blackwell declined to make his public.” [Columbus, Dispatch, 6/14/10]

Romney: “In Regards To Income Taxes, That’s Not Something That’s Required By The Law” So “I’m Not Planning On Releasing My Income Taxes Anytime Soon.” In an interview with KWQC’s Joe St. George, Romney was asked, “Let’s talk about the issue of transparency. You said you’re not going to release some donor information, your tax returns. How can Iowan voters trust someone who is not going to be that transparent?” Romney responded, “Well we have a series of laws that describe the kind of disclosure that’s appropriate and required for candidates running for office. We follow all of those disclosure requirements. And in regards to income taxes, that’s not something that’s required by the law. I’m not planning on releasing my income taxes anytime soon. But, you know we will wait and see what happens – never say never.” St. George then asked, “So you’re open to the possibility of opening them up?” Romney responded, “It’s always a possibility but I’m not planning on it at this point but we’ll see what happens down the road.” [KWQC interview with Romney, 12/28/11]

George Romney Was Believed To Be The First Presidential Candidate To Make His Income Tax Returns Public. “Many presidential candidates in the past have disclosed their net assets, stock holdings and other financial data which might relate to the public trust. But [George] Romney was believed the first to make his income tax returns public – including his annual wages, dividends, interest, capital gains and other compensation.” [St. Joseph Gazette, 11/27/67]

Romney Likely Pays A 15% Tax Rate On The “Carried Interest” From His Bain Investments. “Much information about Mr. Romney’s wealth is not known publicly. Federal law does not obligate him to disclose the precise details of his investments. He has declined to release his tax returns, and his campaign last week refused to say what tax rate he paid on his Bain earnings. But since Mr. Romney’s payouts from Bain have come partly from the firm’s share of profits on its customers’ investments, that income probably qualifies for the 15 percent tax rate reserved for capital gains, rather than the 35 percent that wealthy taxpayers pay on ordinary income. The Internal Revenue Service allows investment managers to pay the lower rate on the share of profits, known in the industry as ‘carried interest,’ that they receive for running funds for investors.” [New York Times,12/18/11]


The Weekly Standard: “Releasing Tax Information Has Been Customary Since 1976.” “He said on Meet the Press last week that presidential candidates are required by law to release their income tax returns. In fact, no such law exists. Releasing tax information has been customary since 1976.” [The Weekly Standard, 5/3/04]

Really? Josh Mandel Laughably Claims He’s Got “No Opinion” On Gov. Kasich’s Moratorium

Classic Mandel Cop-Out From Absentee Treasurer Who Has “Focused On Politics” All Year May Be Least Believable Lie Yet

Mandel Has Spent Months Launching False Attacks Against Sen. Brown Over Fracking, But Clams Up After Youngstown Earthquake

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Only someone who has “focused on politics” in the first year of a new job as much as Ohio’s absentee Treasurer Josh Mandel could possibly give an answer as unbelievably insincere as his recent response to Governor Kasich’s brine-injection well moratorium. Mandel has spent months launching debunked false attacks against Sen. Brown over fracking, and continued them despite earning a “Pants On Fire” from the Plain Dealer for his “ridiculous” lie.

Now, after yet another earthquake—Josh Mandel seriously wants us to believe he has “no opinion” on the moratorium Gov. Kasich’s imposed.

From the Youngstown Vindicator:

“When asked about Kasich’s moratorium, Aquilino wrote that Mandel “doesn’t have an opinion on it and will continue monitoring the situation and carefully watching how it develops.””

No opinion? But hasn’t Josh Mandel spent months talking about drilling? Yes. Mandel’s sent numerous press releases, done TV and radio appearances, and authored op-eds all related to drilling. Does that sound like someone with “no opinion?”

A few weeks ago Josh Mandel’s campaign let Ohioans know that they would continue their refusal to stand up for Ohio’s middle class because Mandel wasn’t yet in the Senate and therefore weren’t going to pretend like he’s there and voting on every bill that’s introduced.”

Well Josh, Gov. Kasich’s moratorium isn’t before the Senate. If you really have “no opinion” on the subject, you’re more unqualified for the Senate than we previously thought, and if you’re afraid to share your opinion with those you’re asking to vote for you—that’s even worse.

“Of the numerous false attacks and mistruths by Josh Mandel this campaign, his claim to have “no opinion” regarding Governor Kasich’s moratorium may be the most egregious and insulting yet since it’s obviously a flat out lie,” said Ohio Democratic Party press secretary Justin Barasky. “This is exactly the kind of classic Josh Mandel cop-out we’ve come to expect from a guy who has ignored his job as Treasurer for a year while playing politics every chance he gets.”


Nov 18: Mandel Supported An “Aggressive” Policy On Fracking. In November 2011, the Youngstown Vindicator reported “Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican likely running for the U.S. Senate next year, says he supports a ‘responsible but aggressive’ policy on fracking.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 11/18/11]

Nov 18: Mandel Called Newspaper To Criticize A Plan To Postpone Leasing Acres For More Drilling. The Youngstown Vindicator reported that Mandel called the Vindicator to “criticize a decision by a national forest supervisor in the Athens area for postponing a plan to lease more than 3,000 acres for oil and gas drilling.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 11/18/11]

Nov 18: Mandel Said Brown Was Either With Ohio Or “Washington Bureaucrats And Fringe Environmentalists.” In November 2011, the Youngstown Vindicator reported “Brown is with either “Washington bureaucrats and fringe environmentalists or the people of Ohio,” Mandel said.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 11/18/11]

Dec 2: Mandel Said Fracking Was A Win-Win-Win On CNBC. In December 2011 on CNBC’s Mad Money, Mandel said “We call it the win-win-win. This is new job creation for the state of Ohio. This is affordable energy bringing costs down for families throughout the state, senior citizens throughout the state, and it’s national security.” [CNBC, Mad Money, 12/2/11]

Dec 2: Politifact Calls Mandel’s Fracking Claims Against Sen. Brown “Ridiculous” And Rates Them “Pants of Fire.” In December 2011, Politifact reported “And when rhetoric gets ridiculous — when a public official running for office implies that an Ohio mayor, county commissioners, a major university president and a federal forest supervisor are fringe extremists — PolitiFact Ohio has one rating for it: Pants on Fire!” [Politifact, 12/2/11]

On The Same Day Politifact Labeled Mandel’s Claims “Ridiculous” and “Pants on Fire,” Mandel Wrote That Shale Exploration “Occurs Safely And Responsibly.” In a December 2011 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Mandel wrote “Shale exploration occurs safely and responsibly.” [Wall Street Journal, 12/2/11]

Jan 1: 11 Earthquakes, One 4.0 Magnitude, Within Eight Months And Within Two Miles Of Injection Wells. On January 1, 2012, the Youngstown Vindicator reported “The quake was the 11th over the last eight months in Mahoning County, all within two miles of the injection wells, he said. Saturday’s quake was the largest yet. A quake on Dec. 24 measured 2.4. There is ‘little doubt’ that the quake is linked to injection wells that the state and the owner agreed on Friday to shut down, Hansen said. James Zehringer, director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, announced the closing of two injection wells in Youngstown Township owned by Northstar Disposal Services LLC and operated by D&L Energy Inc.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 1/1/12]

December 28: Mandel Said He’s Been Calling For The Exploration Of Oil And Gas In Ohio And Is A “Win-Win-Win.” In December on Bill Bennett’s radio show, Mandel said “And we’ve been calling that exploration of oil and gas in Ohio the win-win-win, it’s a win for new job creation, for affordable energy, and also weaning us off of dependence on foreign oil that contributes to our national security.” [Bill Bennet “Morning In America”, 12/28/11]

Jan 14: “Mandel Initiated The Topic Of Injection Wells And Fracking” Into The Senate Race. “Mandel initiated the topic of injection wells and fracking in November, calling on Brown to support a ‘responsible but aggressive’ policy. Fracking blasts water, chemicals and sand into rocks thousands of feet underground to extract natural gas and oil. Injection wells take the fluid left from fracking and inject it deep into the ground for disposal.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 01/14/12]

Jan 14: Mandel Spokesman: Mandel “Doesn’t Have An Opinion” On Gov. Kasich’s Decision To Declare A Moratorium On Brine-Injection Wells. “U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, said Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, made the ‘right decision’ to declare a moratorium on brine-injection wells within a seven-mile radius of a West Side well, near the epicenter of 11 earthquakes in 10 months. Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, ‘doesn’t have an opinion on’ Kasich’s decision, said Joe Aquilino, Mandel’s campaign spokesman.” [Youngstown Vindicator, 01/14/12]


Another Ohio Business Sounds Alarm Over China's Unfair Currency Manipulation, Josh Mandel's Silence Continues

Dayton Area Manufacturing Plant Cites Unfair Practice As Key Reason For Number Of Employees Plummeting From 500 To 110

Last Month Mandel’s Campaign Admitted He Wouldn’t Be Taking Positions On Major Issues Before Congress, Offering To “Leave It To Sen. Brown”

COLUMBUS, OHIO – This past Wednesday Sen. Sherrod Brown visited HARCO hydraulic brake manufacturing plant in Moraine, Ohio to discuss the seriousness of China’s unfair currency manipulation and its devastating effect on Ohio’s manufacturing jobs. HARCO’s General Manager Rick Garver explained:

“HARCO on Kettering Boulevard in Moraine now employs 110, down from nearly 500 in 2007. The company’s products are hammered by market rigging in other nations, Garver said. “The playing field needs to be leveled. Our elected officials need to address trade and tax policies. It’s a bipartisan issue,”

Rick Garver is right, cracking down on China’s unfair currency manipulation is a bipartisan issue, but not if your name is Josh Mandel.

Josh Mandel has repeatedly refused to stand up for Ohio’s middle class against China’s unfair currency manipulation. Recently his campaign arrogantly admitted that because Josh Mandel wasn’t a Senator yet, he wouldn’t even be addressing the issue. From Mandel’s mouthpiece:

“Mandel spokesman Joe Aquilino said that the candidate is not a Washington politician and, ‘consequently, for the next year we're not going to pretend like he's there and voting on every bill that's introduced or that's on the floor.’”

There you have it: Josh Mandel wants your vote, but he’s unwilling to stand up—or even address–a policy that the Economic Policy Institute and the Alliance for American Manufacturing says is responsible for killing “more than 2.8 million jobs since 2001, including more than 1.9 million manufacturing jobs,” many of them in Ohio.

“Josh Mandel’s refusal to stand up for Ohio’s middle class by speaking out against the job loss resulting from China’s unfair currency manipulation is further evidence that the only job he’s willing to fight for is his next one,” said Ohio Democratic Party press secretary Justin Barasky. “The chorus of Ohio businesses supporting Sen. Brown’s bipartisan bill to crack down on China’s currency manipulation continues to grow louder and Josh Mandel should join Sen. Rob Portman and stand up against this job killing policy.”


HARCO General Manager: “The Playing Field Needs To Be Leveled” For Manufacturers. In January 2012, the Dayton Daily News reported “Garver said HARCO on Kettering Boulevard in Moraine now employs 110, down from nearly 500 in 2007. The company’s products are hammered by market rigging in other nations, Garver said. ‘The playing field needs to be leveled. Our elected officials need to address trade and tax policies. It’s a bipartisan issue,’ Garver said.” [Dayton Daily News, 1/12/12]

Mandel Silent On Sen. Brown’s China Currency Bill For Manufacturers – Spokesman Said Mandel Wouldn’t Be Commenting On Issues Before The Senate. In December 2011, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported “Mandel also would not give his opinion on a foreign trade bill promoted by Brown and supported by small Ohio manufacturers as well as Portman, a former White House trade ambassador. Brown's bill would authorize economic sanctions against China if authorities found China manipulated its currency, providing its exports with an unfair pricing advantage. Some conservatives say punitive tariffs might start a trade war. Asked about these issues, Mandel spokesman Joe Aquilino said that the candidate is not a Washington politician and, ‘consequently, for the next year we're not going to pretend like he's there and voting on every bill that's introduced or that's on the floor.’” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 12/24/11]


REMARKS: Chairman Redfern Highlights Flaws In Mitt Romney’s Record As Exposed During New Hampshire Primary

COLUMBUS – Today, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern held a press conference call to discuss the New Hampshire primary results and how they shape the presidential race as it moves toward Ohio.

Download audio of the press conference call here.

Chairman Redfern's remarks follow:

“While Mitt Romney may have won last night's contest in New Hampshire, in a state where he has campaigned for the last five years, where he once led by nearly 30 points and where he owns a home, candidate Romney comes out of the New Hampshire campaign wounded because that campaign exposed many aspects of his record.

“Mitt Romney has staked his campaign on his background in the corporate world. While he claims to be a job creator, he has actually spent his corporate career as a job cremator, and a proud one at that. Voters are beginning to see just how shameful his record is and just how misleading he is when he talks about that record.

“He claims that he created 100,000 jobs in the private sector – but his numbers do not include the countless jobs that were lost under his watch. One media outlet after another has debunked his ridiculous claim. Because rather than creating jobs as CEO of Bain Capital, Romney put profits over people and repeatedly laid off workers so he could line his own pockets.

“Governor Romney's approach as CEO of Bain Capital reminds us of his position on the American auto industry. When GM and Chrysler were struggling – and jobs across Ohio were on the line – Governor Romney said that we should let the auto industry go bankrupt. His disregard for Ohio autoworkers is exactly like his disregard for workers during his years at Bain Capital. If Mitt Romney were president, we would not have an Ohio auto industry as we know it today. We would not see Chrysler increasing Jeep production and adding jobs in Northwest Ohio, as was reported by the Toledo Blade today.

“Governor Romney said he feared getting a “pink slip” during his time in the corporate world, but he actually made a deal to never put his job or personal fortune at risk while he was CEO of Bain Capital. Mitt Romney simply cannot relate to the struggles of middle-class Ohio families who worry every day about losing their jobs, their retirement savings and their health insurance. He never had to worry about getting a pink slip. “Instead, he profited by issuing pink slip after pink slip to hardworking, middle-class Americans.

“Governor Romney's approach in the corporate world may best be summed up in his own words: Quote. “I like being able to fire people.” End quote. This sentence sums up his work in the corporate world. Don't ask us – just ask his Republican rivals.

“Last night, Governor Romney suggested that those who question his record are attacking "free enterprise." Mitt Romney's idea of free enterprise is to allow Wall Street to write its own rules and return to the abuses that led us to the greatest recession in a generation. That's why he opposes the appointment of Ohio's own Rich Cordray to be America's top consumer watchdog.

“Mitt Romney's idea of free enterprise is to allow Ohio's auto industry to go bankrupt and abandon our autoworkers when they need leadership the most.

“And Mitt Romney's approach to free enterprise, demonstrated throughout his career, is to outsource jobs, lay off workers and bankrupt companies for profit.

Year In Review: Josh Mandel’s First Year As “Treasurer” Marked By Numerous Legal And Ethical Violations And A Refusal To Stand Up For Ohio’s Middle Class

Absentee Treasurer Becomes Known For Dodging The Press While Repeatedly Spreading False, Misleading Claims Debunked By Non-Partisan Fact Check Organizations

COLUMBUS, OHIO – A not so happy anniversary to Ohio’s absentee Treasurer Josh Mandel who finishes a first year as “Treasurer” that’s been riddled with numerous legal and ethical violations and a refusal to stand up for Ohio’s middle class. Proving he’ll do and say just about anything to win an election, Mandel’s cemented a reputation for dodging the press while repeatedly spreading false and misleading claims that are continuously debunked by non-partisan fact check organizations. But while Josh Mandel has shown the only job he cares about fighting for is his next one, don’t take our word for it. Just look back on Mandel’s past year.

Dayton Daily News – Martin Gottlieb: Mandel wasn’t ready last time

Red State Ohio – Josh Mandel Should Resign as Treasurer

Associated Press - Democrats question timing of Senate run by Mandel

Columbus Dispatch – Mandel for Senate fundraising begins

Toledo Blade – Editorial: Shooting Star

Politico – Coughlin: Not appropriate for Mandel to run

Cleveland Plain Dealer – What would Sherrod do? And Kevin and Josh?

Plunderbund – Wanted: An Ohio Treasurer that can do basic accountancy.

Associated Press – Ohio treasurer declines to say where he stands on union law, says he’s focused on other issues

Plain Dealer – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, a critic of taxpayer-funded promotions, personally congratulates college grads on office stationery

Akron Beacon Journal – Editorial: All in a name

WKYC - Democrats file FEC complaint against Treasurer Mandel

Associated Press - Senate race: Dems complain to FEC alleging Ohio treasurer shared office, campaign materials

Toledo Blade - Ohio Dems File FEC Complaint Against Mandel

Hawaii Reporter - Who’s Josh Mandel?

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Citizens United, after opening door to big campaign cash, is helping Josh Mandel take on Sherrod Brown

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Josh Mandel is back from private fund-raiser with D.C. lobbyists, lips sealed

Toledo Blade - Senate candidate misses financial filing deadline

Toledo Blade – Mandel Web page is removed

Columbus Morning Call - Ohio Treasurer Mandel removes Web page after protest

Columbus Dispatch – St. Treasurer Mandel is in a bind

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Fundraiser invite identifies Treasurer Josh Mandel as U.S. Senate candidate

Cleveland Plain Dealer – Editorial: Josh Mandel’s opportunism

Plunderbund - Josh Mandel removes copyrighted photos from website, will he pay for use?

Plain Dealer – Josh Mandel’s finances include dozens of stocks, real estate and some recent wise buys

Toledo Blade – Canton Firm’s Workers Making Unusual Donations

Plunderbund - Josh Mandel now taking credit for starting program he didn’t start

Plain Dealer – Josh Mandel’s early political travel as treasurer questioned by Ohio Democrats

Associated Press - Josh Mandels Ohio Senate bid shaken by questionable campaign cash, broken promise

Associated Press - Ohio treasurer launches tool to find public pay

Plunderbund - Mandel: Shady campaign donations O.K. because I wrote thank you letters

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Josh Mandel Politifact: False

Akron Beacon Journal – Editorial: Mandel Of Mystery

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Josh Mandel’s family ties make for fascinating politics

Columbus Dispatch - Wife’s income slows Mandel’s disclosure report

Plunderbund - Josh Mandel is 128 days late in filing his disclosure forms with the US Senate. In other news, the sun came up this morning.

Youngstown Vindicator - Mandel’s failure to file doesn’t add up

Columbus Dispatch – Mandel wants to lean more about Piketon uranium plant before backing it

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Josh Mandel Politifact: Mostly False

Plunderbund - Almost one-year later, Mandel still hasn’t taken down his Mosque ad from You-Tube

Cleveland Plain Dealer - To be a model of transparency, Treasurer Josh Mandel and others have long way to go

Dayton Daily News - Mandel takes on critics of campaign

Columbus Dispatch - Mandel remains a mystery to Ohioans

Politico - Nazi reenactor gave Mandel $1,000

Cleveland Jewish News - Nazi reenactor gives $1,000 to Mandel Senate campaign

Columbus Dispatch - Mandel Campaign Contributors Include Former Congressional Candidate Dinged for Being Nazi Re-Enactor

Cleveland Plain Dealer – Josh Mandel Politifact: Half True

Associated Press – Ohioans report errors in treasurer salary database

Columbus Dispatch - Group presses Mandel on Nazi re-enactor’s donation

Akron Beacon Journal - Editorial: Mandel in a hurry

Toledo Blade - Mandel refuses to give up Iott’s donation

Associated Press - Treasurer won’t give up money from Nazi wearer

Cleveland Jewish News - NJDC demands Mandel return Nazi reenactor’s cash

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Josh Mandel discloses finances, showing his wife with extensive holdings in a trust

Plunderbund - Shocker: Mandel’s public employee database is full of errors and inaccuracies

Columbus Dispatch - ODP to Mandel: Fix Your Finance Report or We’ll File a Complaint

Cleveland Plain Dealer – POLITIFACT: Josh Mandel accuses Sherrod Brown of “egging on” protesters doing vulgar acts – PANTS ON FIRE

Plunderbund - Josh Mandel’s salary database even has his own salary wrong

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Political pundits see parallels between Josh Mandel and George Voinovich (the 1988 version)

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Shady pics and video: Groups backing Josh Mandel, Sherrod Brown having fun and fits

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel declines Akron Press Club invitation to discuss his U.S. Senate campaign

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Josh Mandel Politifact: PANTS ON FIRE

Akron Beacon Journal – Editorial: Absent in Akron

Plunderbund - So Josh Mandel went to Harvard?

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Josh Mandel questions Sherrod Brown’s positions, but only addresses some of his own

Akron Beacon Journal - Editorial: The Galling

“Just one fourth of his way through a four year term he promised to serve, Josh Mandel has ignored the Treasurer’s office while attacking Ohio’s middle class and racking up legal and ethical violations in an insultingly transparent effort to secure the only job in Ohio he cares about–his next one” said Ohio Democratic Party press secretary Justin Barasky. “While launching numerous false and misleading attacks, Josh Mandel has refused to stand up against job killing policies that hurt Ohio’s middle class, supported a plan to end Medicare as we know it, and hid from reporters looking for answers regarding his many legal and ethical lapses. Josh Mandel believes the rules don’t apply to him and can’t be counted on to keep his promises or fight for Ohioans.”

REMARKS: Justice McGee Brown Formally Announces Campaign To Retain Ohio Supreme Court Seat

COLUMBUS – Today Justice Yvette McGee Brown formally announced her campaign to retain her seat on the Ohio Supreme Court. Justice McGee Brown, who has dedicated her life to advocating for children and families, joined the Ohio Supreme Court in January 2011, becoming the court’s first African American female justice.

View Justice McGee Brown’s campaign website here.

Download a press photo of Justice McGee Brown here (attributed to Ohio Democratic Party).

Her remarks, which were delivered today, follow:

Thank you for that very kind introduction. It’s so wonderful to be here today among so many friends and supporters.

For those few who don’t know me, let me share a bit of my story.

I was born here in Columbus, the oldest of three children of a single mother. She worked two jobs to support us – in a factory by day and cleaning office buildings by night. And she impressed on the three of us the importance of a good education.

I worked hard in school and was accepted to Ohio University in Athens. I made it through with financial aid, student loans and work-study programs.

After graduating, I won a full scholarship to the Ohio State University Law School. With my law degree in hand, I went to work in the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, where I represented the state Medical Board and the state Pharmacy Board. Among other things, I helped make sure that doctors and pharmacists in Ohio met their professional standards and obligations.

After two years, I became Chief Legal Counsel to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections — and later, the Ohio Department of Youth Services. In both of these jobs, I took a particular interest in juvenile corrections. I saw many young Ohioans caught up in a cycle of abuse and neglect, and I determined that I wanted to do something about it.

So, at age 32, I decided to run for the Court of Common Pleas here in Franklin County. I was proud to be the first African-American woman elected to this bench.

As a Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court Judge, I handled thousands of domestic relations and juvenile cases — including juvenile felony and misdemeanor cases, child abuse and neglect, divorces, dissolutions and child support.

I think observers of my years on that court will tell you that I was a tough but fair judge. My philosophy was that, if you make a choice to engage in crime or violence, then you’ve chosen the consequences.

So I didn’t hesitate to hand down tough sentences. But I also made sure that everyone was treated fairly.

As a Judge, I was struck by the recurring cycle of abuse and neglect within families. So, after nine years on the bench, I left to pursue a more comprehensive approach to early intervention and prevention.

Working with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, I helped establish the Center for Child and Family Advocacy here in Columbus. In essence, we created a one-stop center to deal with child abuse and neglect. I helped raise 10 million dollars to build that facility, and then served as its first president.

Eventually, my scope of responsibility grew to encompass not only the Center, but also the Hospital’s behavioral health and autism services. By the time I left, I managed over 400 employees and a 30 million dollar annual budget.

Why did we need this unique facility in Ohio? Because a coordinated response from physicians, therapists, police, prosecutors and child welfare professionals improves outcomes for children and takes delay out of the system. It helps children recover and creates greater opportunity to hold perpetrators accountable.

Instead of sitting in an emergency room for 6-to-8 hours and having to tell their stories over and over, child abuse victims now have an experienced team around them. They tell their stories once, so they don’t have to continually relive their trauma.

Now, police, prosecutors and advocates can investigate cases together rather than separately – saving time and expense. We also offer prevention services for at risk families, early intervention for children zero to three, and domestic violence advocacy and support.

For the thousands of children and families caught up in these crimes, I know we have made a difference. And since we founded the Center for Child and Family Advocacy, another half-dozen centers have been created across Ohio.

Just as important as my professional life has been my family, [some of whom are here with me today]. I could never have taken on this work without their love and support. My husband has been a high school teacher for more then 35 years. We have three children – the youngest of whom is 14. And in January, I became a grandmother.

After eight years of exhausting but rewarding service with the Center, I was honored when Governor Strickland asked me to join his ticket in 2010 as the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor.

Although we didn’t win that election, campaigning around our state was a tremendous experience. I was able to talk and interact with everyday Ohioans in a way that few people ever experience.

In doing so, I met so many people and families across our state who are living at the margins.

They have lost jobs and financial security, but they haven’t given up hope in themselves or in our country. They are looking for leaders who will stand up for them, and they are willing to invest their hopes and dreams in such leaders.

So after the election, when Governor Strickland asked me if I’d be willing to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, I thought of those people I had met along the campaign trail. I thought about the families and children I had served at the Child and Family Advocacy Center. I thought about the juveniles who had come before me as a judge. I thought about my own family and the struggles we had encountered.

I accepted the appointment, and I’m glad that I did. I believe that I have had a real impact, by bringing a life experience and a perspective to the High Court that might not otherwise be represented.

And that’s why, today, I am proud to announce that I am running to remain your Justice on the Ohio Supreme Court.

Our courts need to be the place where the scales of justice are balanced; where individual citizens have the same rights as the biggest corporations.

It may not always seem that way to the public, But I still think that our courts come the closest to upholding the basic American ideal that all men and women are created equal and have equal standing before the law.

That’s why it’s important to have diversity among our judges. Not just diversity in terms of race or gender or political party, but diversity in terms of life experience. Our late and beloved Chief Justice Thomas Moyer recognized this when he said: "The idea of a multiple-judge court certainly is that the process includes people of different backgrounds, different philosophies, different views on issues."

Now, just because you come from a different party or a different perspective doesn’t mean you can’t get along. We do. I listen closely to my colleagues on the Supreme Court and they listen to me. We have an honest and respectful exchange of views.

With all humility, I believe my colleagues value my Prior Experience on the Domestic Relations and Juvenile Bench and in the private sector.

After all, the law is about people.

The cases we decide and the precedents we set have real-life consequences for thousands of Ohioans and their families, Be it workers compensation, enforcement of contracts, health care, child welfare or domestic issues.

The courts are the place where individuals – no matter who they are, should expect to have their cases heard on equal footing. And as long as I’m on the bench, I’ll fight to make sure they do.

So I look forward to making my case to the voters of Ohio in the coming year.

I appreciate your support and friendship with all of my heart.

Thank you.

Paid for and authorized by the Ohio Democratic Party, not authorized by any federal candidate or campaign committee. Chris Redfern, Chairman, 340 East Fulton St, Columbus, Ohio 43215.